Once the Empress got a rare silk cloth piece as a gift from her Chinese counterparts. She called the Birbal and expressed her desire to get a beautiful dress stitched from the cloth. The Empress said, “Birbal, I’ve heard that tailors always steal some cloth from the cloth piece given to them for stitching. I’m not worried that a part of my cloth piece would be stolen. However, I don’t want that anyone other than me should wear the dress made from this cloth. I want you to make some arrangements so that the tailor can not steal from the cloth.”
Hearing this, Birbal said, “Begum Sahiba, my experience says that irrespective of whatever you do, the tailor will mange to steal a part of the cloth piece.” The Empress replied, “No, no! I don’t believe it. You call the royal tailor here and ask him to stitch my dress in the palace itself. Depute guards around his work place and then see how he manages to steal a sloth piece. I bet, he’ll not be able to do it.”
Birbal smiled and said,”Begum Sahiba, the tailors are very smart. Whatever you do, they are bound to steal a part of your cloth piece.” The Empress did not agree with him and took it as a challenge. The royal tailor was called and was ordered to work in the palace. He was told not to leave the palace until the work was finished.
The tailor came with all his essentials to stay in the palace premises. His work place was tightly observed by the royal guards. The tailor was not allowed to go out, not even to his house. Like this, ten days passed. The whole day, the tailor works on the extraordinary dress of the Empress.
One day, the tailor’s daughter came to see him. She said, “Father, please visit home today. Mother is remembering you a lot.” As the girl was not allowed inside, she remained standing out of the guarded room.
The tailor expressed his inability to visit home. But the daughter remained adamant. She kept insisting her father. Irritated be her repeated insistence, the angry tailor lifted his shoe and flung it towards her. He said, “Silly Girl! So many times, I have told you that I can’t come. Why don’t you listen?”
Seeing her father so much irritated, the little girl giggled out of amusement. She picked up the shoe, which was flung at her and ran away from there. Finally, the dress was ready after fifteen days. The empress was very happy to see it. She gave good reward to the tailor. Before leaving the palace, the tailor was thoroughly checked by the guards.
The empress was elated that her dress would be rare in the whole kingdom. One day, the empress was passing through the market with her royal cavalcade. Suddenly she noticed a woman wearing a blouse, which was made of the cloth similar to her rare dress.
Astonished to see this, the Empress immediately asked her guards to call the woman to her palace. When the woman came, the Empress asked her who she was. After enquiry it was found out that she was the wife of the royal tailor.
The Empress was angry as well as surprised. She called the tailor. The tailor was very much frightened. He went to Birbal and requested him to come along with him. Birbal felt pity and agreed to accompany him.
The empress was very angry, but Birbal cooled her down. He said, “Begum Sahiba, it’s not the fault of the tailor. The tailors are like this only. Please forgive him.” The Empress thought for a while and then said to the tailor. “I’ll forgive you if you reveal how did you manage to take the piece of the cloth out from the palace.
The tailor said, “Huzoor, when my daughter came to call me, I pretended to be very angry and threw my shoe towards her. I had suffered a small piece of cloth in the shoe. Before coming here, I had already briefed my daughter about it. So, when I flung the shoe towards her, she picked it and ran away from there. This way, the piece of cloth was brought out the palace.”
The tailor’s head bent down. As per her promise, the Empress forgave him and sent him back. She then turned towards Birbal and said, “Birbal, you were absolutely right. It’s impossible to prevent this lot from stealing the cloth.” Birbal smiled and went away from there.